The Social Insurance Fund showed a deficit of around €50 million for the first time ever in 2013, a report by the auditor-general shows.
In 2012 the fund had a surplus of €156 million.
The report by the auditor-general on the labour ministry for 2013 was discussed at parliament’s audit committee in the presence of the minister, Zeta Emilianidou.
Auditor-general Odysseas Michaelides said the amount paid out in unemployment benefits last year exceeded total revenues as had other welfare benefits.
He also said that on December 31, 2013, some €73 million was pending from employers and the self–employed to the social insurance, and another €25 million to other funds.
Based on the data, the Audit Office has recommended the ministry draw up a timetable for establishing an action plan that would make it possible to recover the amounts owed to the state.
Michaelides also referred to the investment policy regarding the social insurance fund, indicating that the state had for many years borrowed surpluses on favorable terms. This policy did not ensure the interests of the fund, he said. The balance of the fund at the end of 2013 was €7.43 billion.
Emilianidou said she agreed with the points made by the Auditor-general but noted that it was important that during 2014 the deficit in the social insurance fund has been reduced to €19.9 million.
As regards to the recovery of debts, she said that in 2013 the House approved a bill which provided that the ministry would suspend any criminal prosecutions and fines for the period September to December that year due to the crisis. (CNA)